Five Tools Every Project Manager Needs

Project managers become highly successful through a combination of leadership qualities, excellent communication skills, and a little help from some top-notch project management tools.

Whether you're new to the project management space or you're simply looking for some updated, innovative ways to change things up for your team, there's a variety of quality project management services readily available and at your disposal. For the best available assistance in all your project needs, start managing smart with some of the following tools, tricks, and tips for project managing in any arena.

Reliable document sharing

When you're responsible for keeping a team of people organized, in-sync, and moving forward in their projects, fast and easy document sharing is essential. Among basic file sharing services, tools like Dropbox for Teams make it easy to share and view documents at the drop of a hat. For synchronized editing, services like Google Drive allow team members to collaborate and make changes in real time from anywhere there's an Internet connection. The drawback here is that team members will need to make sure to back up their work often, as changes made to a document (even changes that aren't meant to stick) will be saved automatically.

Easy calendar sharing

Keeping everyone on the same page in terms of deadlines and due dates is nearly impossible without the help of a shared calendar. There's a myriad of online calendar options for project management assistance, ranging from ultra-detailed to highly simplistic. Arguably the most widely used project calendar is Google calendar, which has the benefit of being accessible from your Gmail inbox; drawbacks include not being able to expand the calendar beyond a one-month view, which can be frustrating for overseeing long-term projects.

A smart backup system

Particularly when collaborating with a team where everyone contributes a different component to each project, smart, frequent backing up of each person's work is crucial. A popular rule of thumb for this is the 3-2-1 system. The 3-2-1 system entails keeping three (3) copies of every file; two of these files should be kept on two (2) different media types, like a hard drive and a form of optical media, and one (1) copy should be kept offline. This is one of the safest systems to ensure that no important piece of a project is ever lost.

Mobile project access

When you're the project manager, you're the tie that binds the team together in every capacity. Particularly if your team sets its own work schedule, having mobile access to your project management tools is vital. Even if you're not always present with each team member, mobile project management software and services allows you to view, manage, and advise on project components at any stage from any location.

Reliable project management software

For the most part, all of the crucial tools needed by a good project manager can be handled simply, efficiently, and from one central location with reliable project management software. Good task management services allow you to share documents, calendars, project components and more with your team at any time. One option for task management software is Flow, which boasts its usefulness in syncing multiple documents, tasks, calendars, revisions, and more in a central location. Flow is also available for iOS, making it highly useful to project managers who are dedicated to staying involved in every step of the assignment process.